The Monthly Newsletter: February 2015

The Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to The Monthly Newsletter brought to you by the bloggers of Books and Ashes! Each month we’ll have a general update about the blog and what we’re expecting to happen in the next month. We hope you’ll enjoy this feature and tell us what you think! We’d appreciate the chance to get to know our followers 🙂

General Blogging

We got a new theme! And a new color! We decided we needed a more “organized” theme for the blog and we’ve been talking about toning down the color of the blog for a little while so we finally managed to do so. Personally, I love the new theme. It’s a lot better than what we had. Double sidebars, four footer areas, pagenation (of a sorts), a Feature area up top, and then a really nice header area. I love it!

We’re also getting a new header image (same designer because we really like her artwork) and perhaps another mystery surprise 😉

Oh, and maybe some extra icons and such designed by the same designer for like, buttons and such. We’ll see! Truthfully I hope we do because I would love to have some icons for social media and some other things, it would be nice!

Discussions of the Month

This month we had a single discussion from me where I talked about the lure of Edelweiss and why someone should stop me. I was hoping to get one other thing up, but couldn’t get everything together in time. Expect it sometime next month!

The Monthly Writer

What my brain wants to write: 1

What I need to write: 0

My creativity is still hindering me on projects that I need to be working on. I planned on writing my novel some more, buuttt I got sidetracked by this really awesome idea I liked that will never be read by anyone. Sometimes I just really like writing random things so this okay!

I started a little journal as well when I get ideas to write them in. I just write whatever flows in with the original idea, so it’s been a great creative outlet. I’m working on something I’ve tentatively titled Of Truth and Lies because those are major themes to the writing.

The Monthly Reader

Still a few reviews behind, but we did get pleasure reading in this month with the Manga Classics version of The Scarlet Letter and the first book in the trilogy for the Mikelson siblings books in The Rise (The Originals #1). I read a couple others but haven’t reviewed them yet, so when I get to writing the reviews they’ll pop up!

Favorites of the month:


We read them together since Iris bought an ecopy of The Collectors’ Society and pre-ordered an ecopy of The Hidden Library at my nagging for her to do so after I read it. We loved them and I’m super excited to share my review for The Hidden Library with you tomorrow!

Seriously go buy yourself a copy, these books are amazing, I love them so much!!!!

Assassin IrisSeconded! I don’t love many books, but I love these. I’m seriously considering buying them in physical format and taking them home with me when I go back to Wales after this semester!

I’ve also started a journal to keep notes in while I read so I can have clearer thoughts when I review books, because I know some of them aren’t always the best when I review them after a few days of sleep and a couple more books. Details tend to get lost! So this should help me quite a lot with this problem 🙂

Last Month's Reviews

Covers lead to the review!

Anyone TheLastOrderFinalFront Dark Siren reflection pond The Rise; The Originals The Witching Elm how not to fall in love Billy Bobble Version 4 WATER_SO_DEEP_FRONT_WEB_READY diamond-rings-are-deadly-things distancebetween_final cover_4_1.indd I and You How I Fall  The Intergalactic Adventures of Queen Bea All That Glows Dearest How to Unbreakup All That Burns Sleeping Tom Horror Business The Scarlet Letter Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00008] Life Blood

Challenge Updates

105 Challenge

Two months into to this challenge already! I can’t wait to see what kind of progress I managed this month! Here’s where I stood last month on this challenge!

Books I’ve Never Read Set Outside The U. S. A.: 0/14

2015 New Releases: 4/13

Indie Books: 9/12

2014 New Releases: 9/11

Review Books (Ebook Or Physical): 0/10

Popular Books I’ve Never Read: 0/9

Re-Reads (Standalone Or Series Starters): 0/8

Dystopian Novels I’ve Never Read (But Really Wanted To): 2/7

Books I’ve Been Told To Read: 0/6

Jane Austen Novels: 0/5

Books Based Off Video Games/T. V. Series: 0/4

Books I’ve Won in Giveaway’s: 0/3

Series Read&Re-Read (3+ Books And Completed): 0/2

Book That Is 500+ Pages (New or ReRead): 0/1

My new numbers this month are *drumroll*

Books I’ve Never Read Set Outside The U. S. A.: 4/14

2015 New Releases: 13/13

Indie Books: 12/12

2014 New Releases: 11/11

Review Books (Ebook Or Physical): 3/10

Popular Books I’ve Never Read: 0/9

Re-Reads (Standalone Or Series Starters): 1/8

Dystopian Novels I’ve Never Read (But Really Wanted To): 3/7

Books I’ve Been Told To Read: 0/6

Jane Austen Novels: 0/5

Books Based Off Video Games/T. V. Series: 0/4

Books I’ve Won in Giveaway’s: 1/3

Series Read&Re-Read (3+ Books And Completed): 0/2

Book That Is 500+ Pages (New or ReRead): 0/1

My list are actually filling out really nicely! I read another 24 for this challenge so that was actually a good increase! Plus I’ve officially finished three of my categories! Hooray for me!



My goal for this challenge is

Platinum (75 books)

I actually read a few this month!

All That Burns The Scarlet Letter In Search of Lost Dragons The Rise; The Originals When Reason Breaks

One from Edelweiss (All That Burns) and four from NetGalley (Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter, In Search of Lost Dragons, The Rise (The Originals #1, When Reason Breaks). I really enjoyed all five of these, and I can’t wait to continue on and see what other books I get to read!

Current count for this challenge








I don’t have a set goal (there are no “real” goals) but I’m going to try and read as many Indie books as possible. I’ve read 12 so far!


2015 Goodreads Challenge

Wow, we’ve managed to do another “one a day” month! 28 more books to the read pile this month! 58 book is a lot of book in two months but we’re well on our way to reading our goal! At this rate, June is still our month where we finish our goal so we bumped ourselves up another 30 books, even though that still leaves us 25 books ahead of schedule haha! We’ll find a goal that challenges us some day, because we seem to be flying through this years!

We beat last years challenge of just 100 books and we started in May, slacked around on reading and then when September hit we really started reading! And beat it with a few days to spare! Now that we’re double this year I can’t wait to see what we accomplish with the amount we read!


The Month Upcoming

 I have nine review books that are releasing next month that I plan on reviewing, so I can’t wait to get around to them! My most anticipated books next month are:

Shadow Scale Solitaire

I have waited so long for Shadow Scale that I can’t really believe that it’s almost here! I remember being blown away by Seraphina a few years ago and not knowing if it was the end or if my school just didn’t have the second book, but knowing now that it’s coming out so soon, ah! So excited!

Solitaire on the other hand has been on my radar since before it was published, in fact, the day its author, Alice Oseman, revealed that it had been contracted for publication on Tumblr! Since then it’s sat on the edge of my radar as I waited for it to be published. Seeing the physical copies the first time I loved the cover (this one) and I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those copies!

Those two are two of the books I’ll be reviewing that release next month so be on the watch for them!


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